Friday, September 10, 2010
here, my goal is to become an expert in mindfulness. I know this will take me years of reading, going to workshops, and practicing the techniques. With this much investment of time and energy, some may ask what is so worthwhile about mindfulness. While there is no way to really quantify all of the many ways that it is beneficial, I can share a personal experience to show some practical benefits. One night, after a twelve hour work day, I was exhausted. When I finally got in bed, though, I could not sleep. My mind was whirring like a wind turbine and each thought was like another gust setting the whole thing in motion again. I said to John, my fiance', "I can't sleep; I am wide awake!" He said, "That's because you keep thinking! Stop thinking!" In saying that, he reminded me that I was caught up in things that I could do nothing about at that moment and all I was doing was costing myself precious minutes of sleep. With that reminder, I took deep three deep breaths, and began focusing on my breathing. Every time my mind drifted, I gently brought my awareness back to my breath; within minutes I was asleep. This technique worked so well because it is something I have been doing for years; it takes practice and does not always work perfectly. However, honing this type of skill is priceless to those of us who sometimes have trouble slowing our turbines.